Transport has played a key role in the settlement and development of Victoria, helping to shape the form of our urban and rural landscapes and impacting on the everyday life of all Victorians for over 175 years.

The Museum's Transport collection aims to document historical developments in the types of transport used both within Victoria and between Victoria and other Australian or overseas locations. In particular it focuses on the nature of technological change, as well as the social impact and context of changing modes of transport. A particular emphasis of the collection is to record aspects of our transport heritage that are distinctively Victorian.

The collection commenced with ship models originally displayed in the 19th century international exhibitions. Through the 20th century the Industrial & Technological Museum and then the Science Museum acquired historically significant aircraft and vehicles with a strong Victorian provenance, including horse-drawn and early motor vehicles. A series of models was commissioned documenting the development of locomotives and rollingstock of the Victorian Railways. Many of the larger items also document significant milestones in Australian innovation or manufacture.

Significant items:

  • Flight Memory (Black Box) Flight Recorder prototype.
  • Duigan biplane, the first Australian-built aeroplane to achieve a successful powered flight.
  • Aubrey Lock aero engine (1910), the 2nd oldest Australian aero engine; Gipsy Major aero engine (serial no.1, by GMH, Fisherman's Bend, circa 1939), the first aero engine mass-produced in Australia.
  • Pre-1925 British, French and American aero engines.
  • Wirraway aircraft.
  • Prototype Victa Air Tourer.
  • Gerald & Lorna Dee collection of railway locomotive and rollingstock builders' plates: an internationally significant collection of over 350 plates.
  • Eric Quinlan Collection of over 100 locomotive plates.
  • Victorian Railways uniforms, badges, equipment, union testimonials, watches and other memorabilia. 
  • 1/3 scale model of Victorian Railways C-class steam locomotive (built by apprentices).
  • Polly tank locomotive Z-526: first steam locomotive built at Newport Railway Workshops (1893).
  • Cable Tram No. 1 (1880), Melbourne's first cable tram, and related cable tram archives and artefacts.
  • Nationally significant locally manufactured automobiles: including Thomson steam car (1898), Haines & Grut (circa 1909), Deliverette prototype (1947), Holden 48-215 (1950), Hartnett (1950) & Ilinga prototype sports car (1972). Also letter books and other archival material relating to Thomson Motor Co.'s attempts to manufacture cars in Melbourne (circa 1900-1903).
  • Horse-drawn vehicles, including Abbott & Downing Concord Coach (1867), Hooper & Co. State Landau & State Coach (1890s), Melbourne-built Albert Car (1860s), Baillieu Brougham (1880s) and Victorian-built Cobb & Co Coach (circa 1880).
  • Significant examples of 19th and 20th century bicycles: including Malvern Star Collection of 12 bicycles from the best-known Australian manufacturer; Sir Hubert Opperman racing bicycles and memorabilia.
  • Ship models, including examples of important late 19th and early 20th century immigrant ships, coastal Australian shipping and the Port Phillip Bay steamers Edina, Weeroona, Hygeia and Ozone.
  • Cowley traction engine (1916), Cowley steam roller (1930s), McDonald Super Diesel Roller (1925) and Super Sentinel Steam Waggon (circa 1925).
  • Morris Commerical Bullion Van (circa 1935) used by the Reserve Bank.

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